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Planning a psychologically safe return to the workplace

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It’s been said many times, but we’ll say it again: working in the pandemic is not business as usual.

Whatever your job, chances are you have had to make some adjustments. For many, that adjustment was moving the workplace to your kitchen table or home office. And it wasn’t an easy feat. Despite all obstacles, we’ve navigated through Zoom meetings, noisy households and working in sweatpants (okay, that one might not be so bad).

So, if talk of returning to the workplace is stirring up anxiety for you – you’re not alone. In fact, it’s completely normal and expected.

And guess what? Your employer is likely just as stressed as you are. Will everyone be safe? What protocols can be put in place? What happens if somebody tests positive?

The good news is that you can ask for help. And if you think some extra help is what you need, here are some tips.

For employees:

For employers:

Creating a mentally healthy transition back to the workplace requires acting from a place of compassion.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

For more tips and guidance on returning to work, check out CMHA Ontario’s toolkit on returning to the workplace. This toolkit provides guidance on how to support employees’ mental health as they plan safe transitions back into their workplaces and to help employers as they develop policies and procedures for supporting staff returning to the work environment.